RE: Definitions: impairment, disability and handicap

This post
gives some context for the discussion of the terms 'disability' and 'impairment'.
FWIW the author of the post (who is based in New Zealand) calls 'handicap' the 'h word'.
I don't believe that its ('handicap') use is widely accepted amongst New Zealand's disability community.


-----Original Message-----
From:	Katie Haritos-Shea []
Sent:	Thursday, 20 June 2002 22:44
Cc:	Wendy A. Chisholm; Charles McCathieNevile
Subject:	Definitions: impairment, disability and handicap

As discussed back in Nov 2001 by Emmanuelle Gutierrez y Restrepo, and
Lisa Seeman.........I also feel that we should be using the World Health
Organization's definitions for these terms.
I will be including them in the WAI Glossary as such, unless further
discussion warrants a change.

As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO)

1.  impairment 
refers to an abnormality of body structure, appearance, organ and system

(Impairments are problems in body function or structure such as a
significant deviation or loss)

2. disability 
is the consequence of an impairment in functional performance and

3. handicap 
is the consequence which is reflected in interaction with, and
adaptation to, the surroundings

Katie Haritos-Shea

Internet/Software/Device Accessibility and Standards


"The best and most beautiful things in the world
     cannot be seen or even touched.
    They must be felt with the heart."
                - Helen Keller

Received on Thursday, 20 June 2002 15:43:09 UTC